The incident has been described as the US’ worst school shooting in nearly a decade.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has sent his condolences to US President Joe Biden on Wednesday following the tragic shooting at a school in Texas.
The Gulf state’s foreign ministry (MOFA) has also condemned the horrific shooting, which took place on Tuesday at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. It also expressed its “deep sadness and regret” over the incident.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the State of Qatar’s strong condemnation of this heinous crime, and reiterates Qatar’s firm position on rejecting violence and criminal acts, regardless of the motives and reasons,” said MOFA.
The suspect has been identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, who killed at least 19 children and two teachers, as Reuters reported on Thursday. Reports stated that the criminal had also shot his own grandmother, who survived, before heading to the school.
The victims are aged between seven to ten, with the majority of the school’s student body in second, third, and fourth grades, as the news agency reported.
A senior Department of Homeland Security official told USA TODAY that the police killed the shooter, who was acting alone.
US officials have also pointed the blame towards Texas state governor Greg Abbott, who signed a law in 2021 allowing anyone above the age of 21 to obtain a gun license. This made Texas one of the largest states to adopt such a law.
“I hate to say this, but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” Abbott told a press conference held after the shooting.
The latest incident has been described as the US’ worst school shooting since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. The armed gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children.
Speaking from the White House shortly after the incident, President Biden called on the public to stand up to “the powerful gun lobby.” He called for strict gun laws and a ban on assault-style weapons.
“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?'” said Biden in a televised address.
The latest gun violence incident has amplified the public’s ongoing calls for the implementation of strict gun laws, with mass shootings frequently taking place across the nation.
The latest incident also comes 10 days after another mass shooting occurred in Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were killed by Payton S. Gendron, 18. The police described it as a hate crime, given that the criminal has targeted the predominantly Black neighbourhood.
A University of Michigan research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, last month revealed that gun violence has been a leading cause of death for children and adolescents in the US as of 2020.
Between 2000 and 2020, the total firearm-related deaths among the reported age group disturbingly rose from 6,998 to 10,186.
The research compared the total of gun-related deaths to traffic accident fatalities, which have dropped due to the implementation of initiatives since the 1960’s.
“Research has shown that most injuries can be prevented by means of the manufacture and appropriate use of safe products and the implementation of policies reducing product-related danger and the occurrence of hazardous situations — the principles of harm reduction,” it said.